USC alum returns to speak about white-collar crime


first_imgFew USC graduates picture themselves ending up in prison, but that is exactly what happened to alumnus Justin Paperny, who became involved in unethical business practices and is returning to campus Monday to caution students against making the same mistakes he did.Paperny, a former Trojan baseball player who graduated from USC in 1997 with a degree in psychology, was sent to federal prison in 2008 and served an 18-month term for crimes stemming from unethical business actions committed while working as a junior partner at UBS Wealth Management, a financial management firm in Century City.This problem is not unique to Paperny.Kenneth Merchant, Deloitte & Touche LLP chair in accountancy and professor of accounting, said at least one Leventhal School of Accounting graduate each year experiences problems associated with illegal business decisions.“The worst is felonies, and then they’re getting sanctioned,” Merchant said. “It happens to at least one [former student] a year.”Paperny, however, has decided to use his experience to help warn others.Inspired to turn his life around by a fellow inmate, Paperny started a blog from prison in October 2008. Paperny would write blog entries and mail them to his mother, who would retype them and post them on the Internet. The blog became “Lessons from Prison,” which was published as a book in 2009 and is now required reading for business classes at several universities, including USC.Paperny, who now tours the country to speak to business students, said he had never intended to become involved in illegal activity.“My bad behavior, or unethical behavior, really started slowly. Nobody wakes up and says, ‘Today is the day I’m going to commit a white-collar crime and commit fraud,’” Paperny said. “I had this singular focus toward work and making money. I wasn’t able to discern the sort of person I was turning into.”Paperny said he made his first unethical decision six or seven months into his career, when a senior broker advised him to pad his sales numbers so he could qualify for a $10,000 bonus.“I can’t blame my senior brokers ­— I don’t blame anybody — but my senior brokers were teaching me the practical aspects,” he said. “I didn’t have enough patience or enough discipline at the time to decide there was a better way to do things. I knew it was wrong, but I figured the culture allowed it, so it must be OK.”Arvind Bhambri, associate professor of management and organization at the Marshall School of Business, said, like Paperny, most people who become involved in illegal business dealings have no intention of doing so initially.“People don’t set out to break the law,” Bhambri said. “It starts incrementally. It’s like riding a tiger, and you don’t know how to get off without getting eaten.”Bhambri said it is vital that students who enter the business world have full awareness of what they are doing at all times.“What I’ve found in my conversations [with former students] is that a lot of people will be engaged in unethical behavior, rationalizing it in their own mind, ‘This doesn’t benefit me, it’s for the company, if everyone else is doing it, it must be okay,’” he said. “And that’s a dangerous path. Just because something has been done a particular way before doesn’t make it right.”Bhambri said USC business students discuss ethics in almost every course, and the university also offers a course strictly on ethical behavior.“The debate that has gone on for a long time is whether we should have a separate course for ethics or if we should integrate it in [to all the courses]. We try to do it at both levels,” Bhambri said. “In the MBA program in particular, we try to get some exposure to ethics in the first couple of weeks.”Nathan Lowenthal, a freshman majoring in business administration, is currently taking a philosophy course called the Professions and the Public Interest in American Life (PHIL141), taught by Professor Dallas Willard. Lowenthal said the class is a popular choice among business students.“We talk about situations professionals are put in that require them to make tough ethical decisions,” he said.Paperny said it is possible for students entering the business world to succeed while holding on to their morals, despite an environment that “tacitly approves” of unethical or even illegal practices that would benefit a company’s bottom line.“I’m convinced you can,” he said. “You have got to be prepared to be different and know that it’s okay to say no to people.”Paperny said the ability to make the right decision in tough situations requires daily effort.“When I was a baseball player, I played every day and I got good. It’s no different being ethical. If you cultivate those habits daily and do it and not just talk about it — evaluate whether your words and actions correlate with the kind of person you want to become,” Paperny said. “When you practice doing the right thing, it will be so easy to make the right decision. But if you don’t cultivate those habits, it’s so easy to cross the line.”last_img read more

Tom Brady reacts to Rob Gronkowski trade: Run it back!


first_imgView this post on Instagram These two @tombrady @gronkA post shared by NFL (@nfl) on Apr 21, 2020 at 2:31pm PDTGronkowski retired in March 2019, shortly after Super Bowl 53, when he won his third ring and Brady his sixth. Last year, the tight end was named to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team along with Brady. He is widely regarded as one of the best to ever play the position.A series of injuries forced Gronkowski to miss 29 regular-season games out of a possible 144 during his first nine years in the NFL, all of which he spent in New England with Brady. Gronkowski later said it was the mental toll, rather than the physical struggles, which led him to call it a day.Now, having recently won the WWE 24/7 championship belt at WrestleMania 36 — which aired earlier this month — Gronkowski is returning to the NFL to play alongside Brady once more. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are set to be reunited with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the former excited to “run it back” with his longtime New England Patriots teammate.Just hours after Gronkowski hinted he may come out of NFL retirement, it emerged the 30-year-old was indeed planning to return and was the subject of a trade between the Patriots and the Bucs. The deal was swiftly finalized on Tuesday. The Patriots are sending Gronkowski and a 2020 seventh-round draft pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round selection.center_img GRONK TRADE GRADES: Head-scratcher for the BucsAfter the trade was made, the NFL’s official Instagram uploaded a video of Brady and Gronkowski smiling in 2019 after the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game to reach Super Bowl 53.The clip, which was accompanied by P. Diddy’s “Bad Boy for Life,” included the caption “these two,” with Brady writing in the comments: “Run it back.”last_img read more

Jurgen Klopp likens England’s treatment of Liverpool youngster to that of a horse


first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has launched himself into a club-versus-country row less than two weeks into his reign after likening England’s handling of Jordan Rossiter to that of a horse.The 18-year-old returned from under-19 international duty with a hamstring injury after playing three matches of 90 minutes in five days.Klopp said the situation was not normal and he would be speaking to someone at the Football Association.Liverpool have recent history with the FA over treatment of players as just over a year ago Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers expressed his displeasure after Daniel Sturridge sustained a thigh injury during an England training session the day after an international match.“Rossiter is a special story. I never heard of an 18-year-old playing three games in five days,” he said.“That is the problem why he is injured and I don’t think he will be ready until the next international break.“I don’t know who I have to talk about this but I will find a way because it is not okay.“On my first day I didn’t want to have a call with someone with the FA but for sure this is not okay.“These young players are our future. If we handle them like horses we get horses.” Jordan Rossiter 1last_img read more